Pakistani volunteers search a damaged bus after a motorcycle bomb attack in Karachi on February 5, 2010. – AFP
Ashura carnage revisits Karachi :: Karachi bleeds after twin bomb blasts
by M Rahaman||Saturday, 06 Feb, 2010||Safar 21, 1431
KARACHI – A tragic twin blasts powerfully wreaked Karachi on Friday, targeting a bus first and then a hospital where casualties were rushed for treatment, killing 25 people, including women and children, and injuring scores of others in the second assault on Shia mourners in this mega City in weeks. It is a very clear fact the Sunni militants attacked the Shiite mourners to quench their thirst for Islamic blood. The Islamic militants are not satisfied with the Kaffir blood any more.
On Friday – the very pious prayer day for both the Shia and Sunni Muslims, an explosion in Karachi targeted Shia mourners on their way to a Chehlum procession. A second blast hit the main public hospital where causalities from the first blast were being taken. According to agencies, the latest death toll is 25, while nearly 100 people were wounded in the twin blasts. These attacks come just a month after a blast killed more than 30 people during an Ashura procession in the city on December 28,2009.
There were conflicting reports about the nature of the blasts as bomb disposal squad officials claiming these were suicide attacks while Interior Minister Rehman Malik said it did not appear so. He said investigation was under way to establish the nature of the blasts, reported a private TV channel.
The first blast occurred on Nursery Bridge near FTC building at 3 pm where a bomber, as per the bomb disposal squad officials, rammed his motorcycle into a bus carrying 40 mourners who were going to join Chehlum procession on MA Jinnah Road.
As a result, 13 people including women and children were killed and dozens injured. Parts of the destroyed motorcycle were found near the partially damaged bus. The blast was so intense that windowpanes of nearby buildings were broken. Phase …….. (1) of current Islamic Peace process.
The victims of the bus blast were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) where the second blast occurred at 4:55 pm in the parking area of the hospital emergency, killing 12 people. Phase …….. (2) of current Islamic Peace process.
Police high-ups remained tight-lipped and they have not officially spoken a word about the nature of the blasts. Sources in the bomb disposal squad said that a man riding a motorbike was wearing a suicide jacket that contained 15kg to 20kg explosives.
About the preliminary investigation, SP Mazhar Mashwani of Crime Investigation Department (CID), when contacted, said that the engine and chassis numbers of the motorcycles used in the blasts were tempered with while parts of the motorcycles have been taken from the crime scenes for the chemical examination. BDS official Munir Sheikh said that the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers on motorcycles. Body parts of the alleged bombers were found from the spots, he said and added that 15kg to 20 kg explosives were used in the first blast while around 10kg explosives were used in the second blast.
There was utter chaos at the scene of explosion on the Mohtarma Laig Begum Road which leads to the Justice Nizam Flyover just off Shahrae Faisal. The blast occurred at around 3:00 pm when an explosives-laden motorcycle reportedly hit a passenger bus carrying participants of the Anjumane Azaraan (Shia participants marking the Chehlum of Imam Hussain, a significant religious occasion). As police and Rangers took up positions to secure the area in the aftermath, a large number of Shia mourners reached the spot from M.A. Jinnah road where the main procession was taking place and started raising slogans against the authorities. The mourners, however, remained peaceful and there were no reports of rioting or looting.
Although eyewitnesses were unanimous in their view that explosives were mounted on a motorcycle which struck the bus as it passed by, some said they saw a bike rider chasing the bus which exploded on striking it. It was evident that the bus bore the brunt of the first attack and most casualties were the passengers sitting inside. However, the bus did not go up in flames. The steel structure was bent from many places outside and the glass windows were shattered. All that was left inside were bloodied slippers, shirt pieces and symbols of the Shia religious procession like small knives, the panja (hand palm sign) and cloth inscribed with verses.
About 100 meters away from the bus, a shop was partially damaged. It was there that Abbas was sitting by the roadside crying hysterically. “I was in the second bus coming right behind the one which was hit by the blast. My elder brother was on that bus…I think he’s dead,” he said.
The dead and injured were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), which is only a few minutes away from the site of the first blast. Head of Emergency Unit, Dr. Seemi Jamali, confirmed that 12 people arrived dead, while over 50 persons were being treated for injuries.
At the hospital, in a repeat of the Ashura tragedy, enraged mourners marched into the emergency room chanting ‘Labaik Ya Hussain’ (I am here, Imam Hussain). They surrounded the dead bodies and beat their chests angrily.
A doctor on duty at the resuscitation unit informed that most of the injured had suffered bomb pellet wounds on the head, chest and limbs. There were no gunshot wounds.
Many of the injured were not in a position to talk. Most had just a name tag slip pasted on their sheets as doctors pierced drips into their arms and people thronged their beds hoping they were not their dear ones.
Middle-aged Zahoor was one such victim who was calling out in pain the names of his family members. Blood was still dripping out of Qaiser Abbas’s head and fingers. “I was in the bus,” was all he could utter when asked about the incident. Kazim, a young child of about six years, was crying for his mother. His face was bruised by shrapnel.
Thirty-year-old Ali Abbas was inconsolable. “I can’t find two of my brothers, Ahmed Abbas (23) and Nayyar Abbas (20). Both of them were on the bus.” Only a few minutes later, he was told that Ahmed was dead.
Asghar Ali, a man in his late twenties, was devastated. He was screaming in tears in a corner of the room where the dead bodies were kept. “My whole family has died today,” he said. “My paternal uncle, nephew and cousin are all among the dead,” he said, adding that their names were Anjum, Ali Raza and Qadir.
As tempers flared inside the unit, some doctors were scolded by the enraged people for not treating their injured quickly or adequately. “The people inside should understand that they are hampering our rescue efforts by barging in like this,” said one visibly harassed female doctor.
The philanthropist, Abdus Sattar Edhi, also reached JPMC to oversee the rescue efforts of his team of paramedics and ambulance drivers. He too tried to pacify the mourners, but in vain. “Why don’t our people understand that by coming in an emergency room like this, it becomes all the more difficult for doctors to save the lives of their loved ones. It is also not safe,” Edhi said.
Minutes later the second blast took place outside the main entrance of the emergency room. Paramedics were shifting the injured inside the hospital when the explosion took place just across the gate near an Edhi booth and ladies toilet. Ambulances and some motorcycles were places outside at the time of the incident. At least five people died on the spot, while at least a dozen others, including paramedics suffered injuries.
Mehmood, a paramedic for the CHIPPA service, had an emotional breakdown after the second blast. “My friend (and paramedic) had just crossed over to the ambulance parked on the other side when the blast took place. I wish it was me and not him. Why did they target us? We were just helping out others,” he cried.
Shahnawaz, a paramedic, said he carried the dead body of a teen-aged boy from the second blast site towards Civil Hospital (CH).
Paramedics lamented the fact that the route to the CH was blocked by the police for security reasons for the Chehlum procession and they were not let in despite the second blast that took place at Jinnah. “The police should have opened up at least one route so that the ambulances could reach Civil in the shortest time possible. But they didn’t listen to us. We instead had to go all the way up to Tower and go through narrow streets to reach the hospital. I think some of the injured from the second would have succumbed to their injuries because of this reason alone.
Three dead bodies were brought to the CH till the filing of this report. Security was significantly beefed up at the hospital this time around and no one, including media persons were allowed inside the emergency unit. A bomb found in Jinnah Hospital defused later.
Dr Shafiq-ur-Rahman informed on the phone that he was treating three critically injured patients in his operation theatre. He said most of the victims had wounds on their chest and that his team was trying their best to save them.
The Muslims cannot settle their dispute among the Shia and Sunni, but they claim the International brotherhood between the humanity. All these are bogus claims so far, as the Islamist of Pakistan and other places show their ugly nature of brutality to kill the opposition so cruelly that made the Doctrine of Islam as enshrined in Koran is nothing but a “SATANIC VERSES” again and again. These are the present stories of Karachi, Pakistan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Yemen and other parts of the world infected with acute Islamities.
Three-day mourning: A spokesman for the Sindh education minister announced that schools and colleges in the province would remain open on Saturday. Separately, the president and the prime minister also condemned the blast as the ANP and the MQM announced three days of mourning.
Shia strike: According to a private TV channel, the Jaafria Alliance would go on complete strike in Karachi today (Saturday) to protest against the blasts. The alliance has also given the government a 48-hour deadline to take action against those responsible.
In addition, the media reported that transporters and businessmen in Karachi would suspend their activities today in protest at the attacks. The US embassy in Islamabad also condemned the terrorist attacks.
Courtesy : Dawn, The International News, Daily Times, APP, Reuters, AFP & Others.